As the preparations go under way for the Caern building, James takes the time to re-compose himself, and gather his thoughts. He reaches his mind out to lessons of the past, taught in a time before the world fell to chaos and ruin. He struggles, frustrated at the difficulties they face. The lack of information. The state of the spirits. The closeness of the environment. It all seems so... fruitless as he fights with his mind, which refuses to quiet. The lure of his Rage pulls at the back of his mind.
In his practice at his meditations, an old memory comes through, strong and clear.
"Tell me again, grandpa, why I am doing this? I am an Ahroun, shouldn't I be learning to channel my Rage?" James said, in that incredulous whine that only a teenage boy can quite muster.
"Patience, my cub. Do you wish to know the Mother's peace, or do you simply want to be a mindless killer, like so many? It is a moment to choose your direction." His grandfather Walks in Wisdom says, with a long-practiced patience of a Silent Strider of many, many years. "Your heart is good, James, and you would do well as a guardian. A protector. I think your football coach put you on the defensive line for a reason."
James rolls his eyes. "Yeah, I know, I'm big, scary, and angry, and no one will want to try to rush past me. So my job is to take the hit and let the rest of the team get the job done."
"Ow! What the hell, grandpa? What was that for?" James rubs at his temple, where a moment ago the back of a hand had bounced off it.
"Is that what you want your life to be? Just sit there and take the hit? Then get used to that feeling. Otherwise, learn to use your mind. I know you have a sharp one. What else can you do? What purpose do you serve, there?" The old man is patient, and smiling, but has a fire to his eyes that dares the young cub to mouth off again.
"No, my job is to work with the team to do the job. Whatever it takes. If that means I get hit, then I get hit. If that means I rush, I rush." He looks to his grandfather, eyes filling with determination. "And if that means I hunt, I hunt. All things in the cycle. In balance, and harmony. As you taught me."
Walks in Wisdom grins broadly. "And the best way to restore that harmony within yourself is...?"
James sighs. "To remember the spirit of the Mother within us, and how we connect in to that harmony. That purpose. That same sense of whole."
With that, he does not sit, but he stands, stretches, and grins at his grandfather. "And sometimes, we do not see that stillness by being still. I'm going for a run. Care to join me, old man? Or have your joints all seized up from age and the deserts?"
His grandfather meets the challenge with a laugh. "Why, James River, you challenge a Silent Strider, and an Elder at that, to a foot race? You are a cocky one." There is a mischievous twinkle in his eye. "I accept." The old man begins to run, and a second laugh escapes at the sheer, simple joy in a run. His long-practiced stride begins at a significant clip, with an earnestness and an ease. He revels in it, and that shared sense of family...
Until he is passed by a particularly large wolf, who whuffs at him as he passes, tail wagging merrily.
Walks in Wisdom loses a step, then two, then bursts out into a full-belly laugh, realizing that his grandson has managed to out-think him for a brief moment. The large wolf lopes into a turn, running back, and nuzzling hard into his grandfather's leg.
"Yes, my boy, learn to love the balance. The old and new. The light and dark. The Umbra and the Tellurian. Our place in it all."
The memory fades, and Breakneck smiles, his mind calm and his body relaxed. In that moment of memory, in pulling to himself at the core, he recognizes the way of it, and within himself. He can feel his spiritual side reconnect, a brief flash in the new world, but it is enough. His spirit restored, he smiles, ready to begin the work of protecting his new home. The people within it.
Whatever it takes to do the job, he is ready.
((1 WP spent. @Breakneck/Kendall: 5d10>=9f1 = (2 5 10 3 1, 0 successes) = 0 +1 from WP, 1 success.))
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